Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga has commended MISA Zambia and its partners for undertaking a survey to determine public trust in the media.
Mr. Malupenga says the report is important as it will help the media to assess their relationship with the public to whom their loyalty must be.
He says among other issues, the report highlights biasness, media capture, and political polarisation as some of the reasons for loss of public trust and confidence in the media.
Mr. Malupenga says the report also cites inaccurate media coverage and lack of in-depth analysis of issues as some of the reason for the erosion of public trust in the media.
He said the report therefore, serves as a timely reminder for the media in Zambia to be professional at every given time and to ensure that professional ethics remain key guiding principles in their operations.
Mr. Malupenga said the findings of the report also vindicate Government’s persistent call for professionalism and strict adherence to professional ethics by the media which in some circles, have been misunderstood as efforts to gag the media.
He said Government has no reason, whatsoever, to hinder the media or journalists from doing their job but want to ensure that enough space and latitude is provided for them to do their work in a much more professional manner because society depends on them for information on various issues affecting their wellbeing.
Mr. Malupenga said it is not in dispute that the media play an important role of informing, educating and entertaining the public but this role calls for the highest levels of professionalism anchored on key fundamentals of truth, objectivity, fairness, credibility and fact.
Speaking during the launch of the Trust in the Media Baseline Report, Mr. Malupenga said Public trust is fundamental in the success of the Journalism profession.
He said sadly, countries world-over, including Zambia, is a victim of fake news which has ‘poisoned’ the bloodstream of our societies – undermining trust and destabilizing democracy.